Actually, the anniversary of me moving to the NYC area to work at Z100 New York was yesterday. I got on a plane July 2, 2001, to make my move here. But let me do a rewind to give you an accurate account of my life & career at the time…
I grew up wanting to be a Grammy Award-winning singer, so the radio was always a big part of my life. I use to tune in to listen for all my favorite songs, sing a long to them, request others & even participate in contests on air. When I got to high school, I enrolled in the communications magnet school program. It was the Jack Yates High School of Communications (or S.O.C. for short) in my hometown of Houston. In fact, all of my siblings were in the S.O.C. Students enrolled in the S.O.C. learned radio, television, journalism, photography & such. It was then that I 1st got an inkling that radio could be a career possibility for me. So when it came time for me to enroll in college, I did the natural thing & enrolled in the Radio/Television/Communications curriculum. I went to the University of Houston right out of high school, but dropped out after a year & a half due to a major depression I went through. I took a detour for about 2 years as a Nanny before enrolling in a smaller college, Texas Southern University. There, I once again majored in Communications & at the urging of one of my professors, I started volunteering & working at the campus radio station, KTSU. It was my work at KTSU that solidified for me that radio was what I had a passion for & was what I wanted to make my career. It just so happened that the aunt of the little girl I was the nanny for, worked at the radio station I grew up listening to, KMJQ. She was in charge of finding someone to fill in temporarily for the receptionist while she was on maternity leave. It worked out perfectly that her 3-month maternity leave was during my summer break from college. So she got me the job & told me, ‘By getting you this receptionist job, I helped get your foot in the door here at the station. Now it’s your job to get yourself on the air!’ So with that gauntlet laid down, I went about performing my duties. I have to say that I was quite the adept receptionist. I had worked at an answering service at one point in college, so answering the business lines professionally was easy for me. And you can believe that every time the Program Director called to get his messages or passed through the lobby, I would remind him that I was a college student who worked at my college radio station & aspired to be a professional Radio Personality. But no matter how many times I told him, he was not impressed. But then something amazing happened…the station’s Production Director would leave the production room a couple of times a day just to take a breather. He would come sit in the lobby & talk to me & ask me about college & my goals. I told him that I wanted to be on air at the station, but that the PD wasn’t taking me seriously. So the Production Director said, ‘I’ll tell you what…on your breaks, come to the production room, help clean out my studio & organize it. In exchange, I’ll teach you everything I know about radio.’ So I started going to the production room every chance I got. Soon, he would have me voicing commercials & drops for the station. One day, the Program Director heard my voice on one of the station drops. He picked up the phone, called the Production Director & asked who that lady was on that drop. He promptly told him that it was Shelley, the receptionist who had been trying the whole summer to get him to put me on air! So you can imagine just how super excited I was when I got a call in the reception area from the PD, who asked me to send him some of my on-air stuff from my college radio station. I sent him some audio, but he wanted to hear how I’d sound on his station, so the Production Director sat me in front of a microphone, gave me some copy to read & produced my very 1st radio aircheck! The Program Director loved it & he hired me to be a part time Air-Personality on the station I grew up listening to! And this happened almost at the very end of my time as the temporary receptionist. So within three months of arriving at the station, I managed to get a job on the radio…that’s what I call God’s plan in motion!
So thus began my professional radio career. The next huge move in my radio career came very quickly. Six months after starting my professional radio career, I got an offer from a competing radio station to work for them. I would still be part time, but they were offering a more prime on-air time slot & more money. After some consideration, I accepted the new gig offer & moved to the station that would become my home for the next 8 years, KBXX. I did part time weekends there for 2 months before they offered me the full time Midday on-air position. So just to put this into perspective…I got my 1st full time on-air gig less then a year after I started my professional radio career–all while still a junior in college! It was all overwhelmingly amazing for me! I did Middays at “The Box” for 6 years before moving to the Morning Show to be Co-Host & Entertainment Reporter. It really was an amazing 8 years at that station. I feel like I grew up there. It was one of the 1st Hip-Hop radio stations in the country & a lot of us started off there when we were in college. So we were kids who grew into our adulthood at this station. Even though I don’t talk to all my former co-workers on a regular basis (I’m terrible when it comes to keeping in touch with people), I still feel a very close connection with them.
When I dreamed of having a singing career, I always wanted to move to New York City & sing on Broadway. So when I got into radio, I immediately knew that working in NYC was a goal for me. It’s the #1 radio market in the country (and some would argue that it’s #1 in the world), so it’s not an easy market to break into. But I’m big on achieving dreams & goals, so I wasn’t deterred. The whole time I worked at KBXX, I always sent airchecks (kind of like audio resumes or examples of you on the radio) to NYC radio stations. Sometimes I would get replies, sometimes I wouldn’t. But I was very happy working in Houston. It was my hometown, all my family & friends were there & I was very successful there. So I wasn’t in a rush to move anywhere. But that NYC goal always stayed in the back of my mind. One year, I sent my aircheck out & made a follow-up call to make sure the station’s Program Director received it. The lady on the other end of the line told me that the PD wasn’t in, but that she could help me. She asked my name, I told her & she screamed, ‘Shelley Wade! I use to listen to you when I lived in Houston!’ Her name was Sharon Dastur. She & the Program Director, Tom Poleman, at Z100 New York use to work in Houston, but at the Pop station in Houston. So while I had heard of her, I had never met her. But lucky me, she use to listen to me in Houston & she liked me as a personality! So now that I was calling her in NYC, she told me that there were no on-air positions open, but to keep in touch. I would email her from time to time, but nothing excessive since I had such a busy career already in Houston. Fast forward to about a year later at radio convention in San Francisco, I met her in person! She gave me a big hug, gave me her business card & again told me to keep in touch. I also had the pleasure of finally meeting her boss, Tom Poleman, at the convention. That was probably around 1998 or 1999. Fast forward to the the Spring of 2001. I received an email from Sharon Dastur telling me that they might have a position available at one of their stations in the northeast & asked me to send her an aircheck. Since she didn’t say Z100 specifically, I had reservations because at the time, I really wasn’t interested in moving anywhere but NYC or Los Angeles. I really wasn’t willing to leave all my family & friends in Houston to go somewhere unless it was a huge career move for me. But putting aside my reservations, I went ahead & sent an aircheck. And I remember this very clearly because it was one of those watermark moments in my career…It was a Thursday, probably around noon or so. I remember this so clearly because I use to do a club broadcast on Wednesday nights. I would leave the club around 1am, go home & sleep for about 2 hours, then get up in the 3am hour to go to the radio station to do the Morning Show. So I was always so super exhausted on Thursdays. Immediately after the show, I would go right back home & go to sleep. I would never even consider answering the phone. So it was strange that on this particular Thursday when the phone rang, I decided to get up from my sleep & answer it. I answered the phone in my sleepy haze of a voice & there was a man on the line asking for Shelley Wade. I was like, ‘This is she.’ And he said (sounding confused as to why I sounded so out of it), ‘Hi Shelley, this is Tom Poleman.’ And with those 6 words, I was wide awake all of a sudden! THE Tom Poleman–RADIO GOD– was calling me?! What?! You’ve got to be kidding me?! That’s what I was thinking, I wouldn’t dare be such a dork as to say that out loud, lol. Anyway, he went on to say that Sharon gave him my aircheck & that he thought I sounded amazing. He asked if I’d like to fly to NYC to audition…!!! Keep in mind that when I sent the aircheck, I wasn’t sure what station I was sending it for because Sharon had only told me that it was for one of their stations in the northeast. So when Tom asked me if I wanted to fly up for an audition, I immediately asked, ‘For what station?’ His answer? ‘Z100.’ I of course, trying not to hyperventilate, said, ‘Yes!’ We set the date for June 7, 2001. I remember that date so clearly because June 7th is Prince’s birthday…and I’ve been a huge Prince fan since I was in elementary school. I felt that this was a positive sign! Now this is where the story gets even crazier…after finding out that Z100 New York was interested in me, the company I worked for immediately offered me the Midday on-air shift at their station in Los Angeles. They didn’t offer me an audition for the job, they offered me the actual the job! I couldn’t have ever prepared myself for how these events were unfolding. Like I said, or implied earlier, God is good!
So the afternoon of June 7th after doing the Morning Show, I got on a plane to New York. The audition went well, but I wasn’t confident that they’d give me the job since I had never worked in Top 40 radio. I thought that a better fit for me would be the gig in Los Angeles that I was already offered because it was the same Hip-Hop and R&B format that I was currently working on in Houston. In either case, I flew back to Houston for a couple of days, then the following week, the company that I was currently working for flew me to Los Angeles to visit the station that I would be working for if I accepted their job offer. It was a very comfortable fit. I’ve always liked LA & I would be working for my old boss there, who I also considered a friend. But while I was in LA, I got another call from Tom Poleman. This time, he was calling to tell me that if I wanted the gig at Z100, it was mine! So in less than a month, I actually had job offers in New York City & Los Angeles at the same time! I don’t know a lot of people who can say that they had to choose between jobs in NYC & LA. It was one of those once in a lifetime moments that you just never forget! It was a big decision for me to make because there were so many elements involved. But thinking back to when I was in the studio at Z100 for the audition & looking out at that iconic New York City skyline with the World Trade Towers right in front of me just across the Hudson River…I knew that I had to go with my childhood dream of moving to NYC. So I ultimately took the Z100 job & the rest, as they say, is history!
So that brings us back to where this blog post 1st began…this weekend 10 years ago, I was at the airport getting ready to officially move to the NYC area. From the time I went to audition for the Z100 job to the time I was actually moving, It all happened so quickly. My life changed literally within the course of 2 weeks. It was a world wind couple of weeks. Aside from planning the move (picking a moving company that would deliver my things & my car to NYC), I still had to work on the Morning Show every morning & there were 3 huge parties planned for me. The radio station threw me a going away party, the Houston Association of Black Journalists threw me a going away party, some of my fellow Prince fans threw me a going away party & some of my fellow Houston women in radio treated me to a going away lunch. I was so crazy busy that I literally got sick. Seriously, I had walking pneumonia the day I flew from Houston to NYC. I was so sick that I couldn’t even pack the boxes for my move. While my family packed all my boxes, I laid on the sofa hardly able to move. So that’s partly how I was feeling as I stood at the gate at the airport waiting for my flight. In fact, I was feeling so many emotions as I stood at the gate. I was super excited to finally be realizing my dream of having my own radio show in New York City! But I was also devastatingly sad to be leaving my Mom, Dad, brother, sisters, niece, nephew, God daughter, best friends & close co-workers. This was a few months before 9/11, so it was back when you could still have people at the gate with you to see you off. My entire family was there, along with my best friends & God daughter. I actually forbade anyone to cry so that the goodbyes wouldn’t be so unbearable for me. I mean, I said it over & over in the car on the way to the airport, ‘You guys, please don’t cry because it’ll make this harder for me.’ The kids were running around playing with each other & the adults were sitting there trying to act like we weren’t moved by this. But then as they started calling aisles to start lining up & boarding for the flight, it all started to hit me. I tried turning away from my family so as not to start crying, but they kept hugging me & kissing me goodbye. So I rushed onto the the plane, but couldn’t even enjoy my 1st class seat to NYC because I was crying SO much. I cried & snotted the whole flight, so much so that the guy next to me was confused as to why I was sitting in 1st class so brokenhearted. I told him that I’d be okay. Long story even longer, I eventually got over it & made it to NYC July 2, 2001…right on the eve of the big 4th of July fireworks spectacular. I made my on-air debut on Z100 July 9, 2001. I did Middays on Z100 for 7 years. It was an amazing 7 years and I had the #1 Midday show in New York City the very day I left that shift. For the last 3 years, I’ve been doing the Overnight shift on Z100 after the company wanted to bring Ryan Seacrest’s syndicated show to the Middays. I’m not a night owl, so the schedule continues to be difficult for me…I’m just being honest. But I’m better with the schedule now than I was when I 1st started it. And I still love cracking open that microphone & talking on the radio…there is no other gig like it! Aside from being heard on Z100, I can also be heard on close to 40 other stations nationwide–including stations in California, Alaska, North Dakota, Ohio, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Florida & lots of other places in between. I’m even on a couple of stations in my home state of Texas! Aside from the radio, I also regularly make national television appearances, I do voice work & I even write movie & TV show ideas with my writing partner Jimbo, whom I use to do the Morning Show with in Houston.
It’s been hard living apart from my loved ones for the last ten years, but we talk on the phone regularly & we visit. I’ve had my share of learning experiences, ups & downs and have become older & wiser. These last 10 years have been full of amazing life experiences & stories that I’ll be telling for the rest of my life. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years have in store & what amazing adventures are waiting just around the corner for me! As you & anyone else can attest to, there are so many countless people who contribute to one’s success & achievements. I can’t name everyone, but I do want to give some heartfelt THANK YOUs to just a few of the people who have made such an amazing impact on my career…Rick Roberts, Tracy McClemore-Prince, Bill Travis, Ron Atkinson, Robert Scorpio, Quincy McCoy, Sharon Dastur, Tom Poleman and, of course, the listeners of all of the stations I’ve ever been heard on. THANK YOU so kindly for your generosity & acceptance. I will forever be grateful! 10 years at Z100 New York & 20 years in radio come next summer…that’s a big deal for me, so thanks for reading along as I indulged in my excitement!
Back in 2008, the world famous Z100 moved their offices from Jersey City to TriBeCa in Manhattan. For posterity, I made sure to capture some of our final moments in the old studios on my FlipCam. Here are the resulting videos:
That’s me with Star Jones this past Sunday night at her “Celebrity Apprentice” viewing event, benefiting the American Heart Association.
Before we started viewing the “Celebrity Apprentice” season premiere, Star stood before the crowd & gave a very heartfelt & moving speech about her Open Heart surgery to repair her aortic valve less than a year ago. The surgery was (thankfully) successful & now Star has become The American Heart Association’s National Volunteer. As such, she’s dedicated to promoting heart health in women & people of color. I told Star that it took everything in me not to cry while she was giving her speech because I know that my struggle with weight can increase my chances of having heart disease. Like I said, it’s always a struggle for me, but I’m working on improving. I’ve found a workout buddy in my friend Justin Woods & I’ve been exercising more this year. Star told me that she’d be a part of my support system–a gesture I thought was really kind, given her busy schedule. But like I said, she’s committed to promoting heart health & she’s putting her words into action.
I can’t tell you how exciting it was to actually be at Star’s “Celebrity Apprentice” viewing party on the night when she actually won the very 1st challenge of the season! We all watched the show & cheered her on while having dinner.
That was the gorgeous flower centerpiece at the dinner table at Opia Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, where the event was held. During commercial breaks, they held little mini auctions, which raised another $170,000 for The American Heart Association!
As far as her win during challenge 1 on “Celebrity Apprentice,” Star says, ‘I played the game from Day 1 – that’s my legal training. I’m trained to bait, trap and kill, and that’s what I was doing. I did not do this show to make friends.’ “Celebrity Apprentice” airs Sundays at 9pm on NBC. I know I’ll definitely be watching the entire season & I’ll be Team Star all the way! To follow all things Star Jones, be sure to head to her website.
I had such a blast at the party & ran into so many fabulous people! Veteran Publicist Terrie M. Williams was the 1st person that I ran into at the cocktail party before the dinner. The Terrie Williams Agency is one of the country’s leading public relations & communications firms. She introduced me to former New York Governor David Patterson & his wife Michelle. Denzel Washington’s wife Pauletta was also there & was very sweet! I also had the pleasure of meeting AOL Popeater’s “Naughty But Nice” host Rob Shuter.
That’s me with Radio & TV Personality Cooper Lawrence! Cooper & I hadn’t seen each other in years, but she use to work with me at Z100. We said that we have to get together for coffee (tea or hot chocolate for me since I don’t drink coffee) soon.
That’s me & The Food Network’s Sunny Anderson! I can’t remember for the life of me what we were talking about in that moment, but I’m happy I wasn’t boring her to death! Lol. Before she was a Food Network star, Sunny use to be on the radio here in NYC. In fact, we were competitors for a while, on air at the same time on different stations! I told Sunny that I’d love for her to cook for me & she laughed, but I was TOTALLY serious! Sunny, you should have me on your show with you & cook me some good ol’ fashioned TexMex from my home state of Texas! But you know us Texans, we can get just as excited about barbeque & Cajun & Creole food! I’ll be waiting for that invite
And those are the fabulous ladies I shared a table with…Professional Make-Up Artist Karen Dupiche, Star Jones, Writer Richelle R. Ransom, Kameka Dempsey of Goldman Sachs, Kacy Lowe who’s in sales in the consumer goods industry & of course…me!
I was super impressed with Karen Dupiche. Not only is she a four time Emmy winner for her work ABC’s “The View,” but she’s also an entrepreneur, introducing her new product, Kd kuffs…
What a brilliant invention! You can get your Kd Kuffs HERE.
Wasn’t it just last week that I was holed up in my apartment for an entire week, trying to get over Walking Pneumonia? Well I guess I was trying to make up for lost time this week because I was hardly in my apartment or my bed! It was a busy & sleepless, but super fun week of fabulous events here in NYC. Here’s the rundown…
First & foremost, I returned to work after taking some sick time off. So a big shout out to my bosses & co-workers at the world famous Z100 New York! Don’t forgot that you can listen to me & my fellow ZJs on 100.3 on your radio in NYC, New Jersey, Connecticut & Long Island. You can also listen live from Z100.com. And of course, you can download the iheartradio app to listen to us on your iPhone, Blackberry or Droid!
I can also be heard on about 40 stations around the country. Look & listen for me via the iheartradio website. Also this week…
My good friend Dr. Ian Smith invited me to hang out with him as he filmed a few segments on The Rachael Ray Show!
You can catch Ian on Rachael’s show next Thursday, March 10th, when he’ll be giving medical & healthy living advice. Before he filmed his segments, I hung out backstage in Ian’s green room with him…
I have to say that all of the staff at Rachael Ray’s show were so nice, wonderful & accommodating. It seemed like every few minutes, someone was coming into the green room to ask if we needed anything. And so many of the show’s Producers shook my hand & told me that they’ve listened to me on the radio for years. It was a really good experience!
In that last photo, we’re all in Ian’s green room watching Rachael on TV while Ian caught up on his emails & his assistant, Liza, caught up on her texts.
Btw, Ian had to fly down to my hometown of Houston immediately after his Rachael Ray filming. He’s launching a wonderful event called The Makeover Mile this Saturday (tomorrow) in Houston, then taking it all over the country. According to Ian’s website:
“With the state of America’s health in rapid decline, Dr. Ian Smith has launched The Makeover Mile to help bring awareness and opportunity to underserved communities throughout the U.S. The Makeover Mile is a grassroots program that stages a one mile walk in communities that are most adversely affected by obesity related illnesses and lack of access to health care. These walks are constructed with an intention of encouraging participants to seize the moment today in order to steer their lives towards a healthier tomorrow. Following each walk, Dr. Ian with the help of The Makeover Mile sponsors will conduct a health fair that provides free health screenings, fitness demonstrations, and healthy cooking demonstrations to give participants an understanding of how people can make simple changes to improve their quality of life. The Makeover Mile will stretch to cities across the nation, inspiring the First Steps Toward A Healthier You.”
Currently, The Makeover Mile scheduled is:
March 5 — Houston, TX
March 12 — Dallas, TX
March 26 — Los Angeles, CA
April 2 — Washington, DC
April 9 — Atlanta, GA
May 21 — Philadelphia, PA
For more info on Dr. Ian Smith’s The Makeover Mile, CLICK HERE to visit the site.
Back to The Rachael Ray Show…Ian & I also ran into Star Jones backstage…
Doesn’t Star look fabulous?! I LOVED her dress!
You can also see Star on Rachael’s show Thursday, March 10th. I’m also super excited to see Star in the new season of Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” which premiere’s this Sunday! As much as I tried to pry details out of Star about behind the scenes gossip on “Celebrity Apprentice” & to find out how far she made it on the show, she would not budge. I guess I’ll just have to watch to find out!
Meanwhile, Star was nice enough to invite me to a very special event in her honor this Sunday, benefitting The American Heart Association. Star is, of course, a heart disease survivor and National Volunteer for The American Heart Association. We’ll also be viewing Star in the season premiere of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” at the event. Looking forward to attending.
And did you know that Star Jones has written her very 1st book of fiction with “Satan’s Sisters”? You’ll see Star talking about the book on The Rachael Ray Show Thursday, but here’s what the book’s about:
Set in the bright lights of daytime television, SATAN’S SISTERS is the story of The Lunch Club–a long-running, popular ladies’ talk show in which alliances are forged, careers are made, and bridges are burned. The show’s famous red couch is ruled by its esteemed matriarch, Maxine Robinson, the first African-American to become a network news anchor, who maintains a hidden safe of diaries chronicling others’ indiscretions for posterity–and leverage as needed. But even all-knowing Maxine is caught off-guard when now superstar former co-host Heather Hope makes a ratings-gold guest appearance only to announce a bombshell: the imminent inside scoop straight from the mouth of another ousted member of The Lunch Club’s inner sanctum.
Self-described “southern belle” Melissa “Missy” Adams has written an explosive tell-all exposing all the Lunch ladies’ secrets and she’s going to reveal it on Heather’s show; but the story is bigger than just the two of them. Delving into the murky waters of each of the current five co-hosts’ life–and the loved ones, lovers, and support team surrounding them, SATAN’S SISTERS dishes the dirt while serving up laughs, suspense, solidarity, and heartbreak. The Lunch Club’s beleaguered publicist is assigned to track down the embargoed manuscript and assess the potential damage to everyone’s livelihood…but time is running out and there’s now a new mole spilling details of the show’s private panic mode. Looks like Maxine is going to have to take things into her own hands…but can even she escape becoming collateral damage?
Hmm…although the book’s a work of fiction, I still wonder how much of the story was inspired by her time at “The View”?!
After leaving Rachael’s show, I headed over to CNN to appear on HLN’s “Showbiz Tonight.”
I always love visiting “Showbiz Tonight”! This week on the show, I discussed with host AJ Hammer whether Oprah should be worried that her OWN network (I know, redundant) ratings are low. We also discussed whether “American Idol” ever needed Simon Cowell since the show’s current ratings are huger than last season’s. I couldn’t find any footage of my appearance on this week’s show, but you can see a few of my past “Showbiz Tonight” appearances below…
After CNN, I headed over to District 36 in Midtown Manhattan for VH1′s preview of their new show “Love & Hip-Hop”.
“Love & Hip-Hop” follows the ups & downs and laughs & tears of a few women in NYC’s Hip-Hop scene. The show stars Chrissy Lampkin, rapper Jim Jones’ lady, Emily Bustamente, the mother of rapper Fabolous’ child, Olivia Longott, the singer who is formerly first lady of G-Unit, internet star Somaya ‘Boss’ Reese, and Swizz Beatz’s ex-wife, singer Mashonda Tifrere. I actually hung out with Olivia at a friend’s house party years ago…
And she was super fun to be around. I can’t wait to watch her & the rest of the ladies of VH1′s “Love & Hip-Hop” when the show premieres Monday, March 14th. In the meantime, check out a preview here…
I also had the pleasure of hosting the New York City screening of the new CBS Film “Beastly”.
Aside from those premiere pass holders waiting in line outside & entering the theater…
MTV also bussed about 80 people over to the screening. “Beastly” star Vanessa Hudgens visited the MTV studios & surprised members of the MTV audience by giving them passes to our premiere of the movie immediately afterwards!
Dooley Watts & Constance Corsale, my co-workers from the Z100 Party Patrol, also joined me at the premiere to give away Z100 prizes to the winners…
I’m sure the winners were super excited to see a table full of pictures of me, not…lol. That’s Z100 listener Bernard from Queens holding his prizes!
And the best thing was…none of the audience members at the movie premiere knew that Vanessa would be making a surprise appearance! So when I told them she was there, they were all so excited!
Watch my interview with Vanessa Hudgens at the NYC premiere of “Beastly” below…
It was a really great movie! Very sweet & funny and I highly suggest you go to see the movie this weekend. “Beastly” is in theaters NOW!
Alright, that wraps up my busy week. On tap for me this weekend…Sleep! Oh yeah, and the Star Jones party. Have a fabulous weekend & take care of yourself
Shelley Wade catches up with Houston buddy & former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland to talk about all things Kelly!
Shelley Wade–TV & Radio Personality–has appeared nationally on Television as an Entertainment Expert & Pop Culture Pundit. This reel highlights some of her national Television appearances, as well as some of her celebrity interviews.
Yep, that’s me in the crowd at Prince’s concert at Madison Square Garden! Although I’m a Radio Air-Personality, I’m not writing this concert review as a radio person. I’m writing this concert review as a die hard music lover. Music is my life! And full disclosure, my favorite music artist of all time? Prince. Since Prince doesn’t like to call his supporters “fans” because it’s short for “fanatics,” I’ll just say that I’ve been a Prince supporter since I was in elementary school…that’s for most of my life! Prince is the reason I made music my career. I grew up wanting to be a Grammy Award-winning singer because of Prince’s musical influence over me. His music affected me deeply. So deeply that I wanted to make music that would move others the way his music moved me. I still sing here & there, but my career aspirations eventually turned from singing to radio. Through it all, Prince has remained my favorite artist of all time. And if you need further convincing…I collect posters. In fact, my apartment is decorated with posters of artists who’ve influenced me. But of all those artists, I have more posters of Prince on my wall than any other…
By the way, the 1st poster you see from the “1999″ album era is the same poster I had on my wall at my Mom’s house as a kid! I was super excited to add 2 more Prince posters to my collection from the concert last night…
Since it is his “Welcome2America” tour, I had to get that poster to commemorate me being there. And I couldn’t dare pass up this poster…
Prince posing in front of his classic 1981 “Controversy” album cover! But there was so much great Prince memorabilia on sale at the concert, that I could’ve gone broke buying them. I think they may have even been selling raspberry berets! In either case, I bought my posters & headed for my seat. Walking into Madison Square Garden’s arena and taking one look at this stage…
There was no mistaking who I was there to see! Prince’s symbol is unmistakable. Seeing the stage reminded me that I had forgotten my Prince symbol tambourine (called the Tamboracca) at home.
Darn it! I never miss a Prince tour & I always have my Tamboracca with me. It’s really awesome & was one of the Prince items sent out to radio stations during Prince’s “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” promotion. At the concerts, everyone’s always asking me, “Where did you get that?!’ But alas, I had to soldier on through the concert without my Tamboracca. Somehow, I managed
I, unfortunately, didn’t get to the show in time to see Mint Condition’s performance, but I did get to see Janelle Monae. She did a pretty good job & held her own in front of an audience that was eagerly awaiting Prince’s appearance onstage. After Janelle’s set…a few stage adjustments, lights out, screaming crowd and then the moment arrived!
Prince hit the stage with hit, after hit, after hit! Since my Facebook friends asked me to keep them posted with what was going on at the concert, I took to my Blackberry & feverishly started posting everything Prince did onstage! Here’s some of what I shared with my Facebook friends during the show:
‘Prince is onstage! And all of a sudden, I’m that little girl crazy about Prince again! OMG, he’s singing “The Beautiful Ones”!!!!’
‘He’s performing all his classics tonight…”Uptown”, “Delirious”, “1999″, “Little Red Corvette”, “Kiss”, “Cream”, “Let’s Work”…he even sang a song he wrote for The Time, “Cool! This is truly a show for fans that go way back with him like I do!’
‘Prince is performing “Let’s Go Crazy”!’
‘He’s performing “Purple Rain” right now & it’s truly a transcendent moment!’
‘What?! “She’s Always In My Hair” & “If I Was Your Girlfriend”?! It’s a wrap Son! Lol’
‘”Do Me Baby”!!!! He’s sitting at the piano singing to just that! Now he’s doing “I Wanna Be Your Lover” with just the piano! This is so freakin’ awesome! “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore”! Ok, I’m gonna faint! “Sometimes It Snows In April”!!!’
‘Now he’s back for another encore & singing “Jungle Love”!’
Cyndi Lauper’s onstage with him!
Um, could you tell that I was excited? Just a tad…just a smidge. Lol. But seriously, that’s one of those concerts that you’ll remember your whole life. Prince ruins it for other artists whose shows aren’t half as good as his. Real music, real singing, real performing, no autotune. And not only is it real, it’s real good. He sings beautifully, he looks beautiful & his showmanship is impeccable. Sidebar~Can I get Prince’s health secrets? Because he looks amazing! He’s definitely found the fountain of youth. But I digress.
Other artists need to take a cue from Prince to learn how to be a true artist and a true musician. In fact, I hear that Prince is making a concerted effort to help guide and teach fundamentals of the business to younger talent. He also strives to provide them exposure so that their path is made easier. It’s such a noble thing to do to give back to younger generations. And if there’s any veteran artist younger artists should learn from, it’s Prince. He’s always been a trailblazer when it comes to ownership of his own music, his own brand & control over his career. There’s so much to learn from him…so much to ask. Prince would be my dream interview. Of all the celebrities & artists who I’ve interviewed over the years, Prince would be my ultimate “get.” I have radio friends & colleagues who have interviewed him, but I haven’t had the opportunity just yet. I did have the pleasure of dancing with him onstage during a concert & meeting him at the after show when he performed in my hometown of Houston in 1998, but I’ve never had the chance to interview him. But I believe that one day I will be able to sit down with him for a chat. Since he’s been my major music influence for most of my life, I’d have a unique perspective from which to interview him. I look forward to it one day.
In the meantime…if you haven’t seen Prince in concert in a long time–or even if you’ve never seen him in concert–I highly recommend you put that on your bucket list. He’s that good. I’ve heard whispers of shows he’ll be performing in February, but his January 18th show at Madison Square Garden is a definite. I hope you get to experience it! Welcome2America gets my vote!
As 2011 debuts (let’s see how long it takes us to remember to write 2011 & not 2010!), most of us are thinking about what goals we want to achieve for ourselves in the New Year. I’m not setting a New Year’s Resolution though. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who thinks that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work. It’s just that I don’t want to be specific with stating goals. What I want to do is reaffirm my commitment to improving myself in every way possible. I just want to continue treating myself well, only surrounding myself with people who treat me well & making my good health a priority. Sure, I have certain ideas of what I want for myself, but these days I’m more into being open to welcoming unexpected possibilities into my life. I’ll excitedly see where the Universe takes me!
2010 was a roller coaster year for me, but a good one nonetheless. I learned lots of lessons…both personally & professionally. I made a few big transitions in my life & I accomplished some big goals. I also hung out with lots of fabulous people. Here’s some of what I’ve been up to…
That’s me & some of my colleagues with Lady Antebellum backstage at SoHo’s City Winery. Hillary, Dave & Charles performed “Need You Now” & their other hits during Musicians On Call’s Benefit Concert & Auction in October. Musicians On Call is one of my favorite charities because they bring music to the hospital bedsides of patients. And we all know that music heals, so it’s a wonderful cause! I can’t wait to attend their next benefit concert in February, where Daughtry will perform at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square!
That’s tennis superstar & broadcaster Justin Gimelstob during the New York City Marathon & hanging out with Mayor Bloomberg afterwards. Justin successfully completed the marathon in November & raised over $40,000 for his Children’s Fund in the process! And after running the marathon, Justin found the energy to attend his after party at St. Giles Hotel…
As you can see, lots of fabulous people were at the party, including John Legend & yours truly! Btw, I bid on & won a very awesome item during Justin’s charity auction at the party…I’ll be sitting in Justin’s personal box during next summer’s US Open where he’ll be introducing me to all the tennis stars. I’m super excited, can’t wait & very happy to contribute to Justin’s Children’s Fund!
That’s DJ Journey, one of my new friends that I was very blessed to meet this year. Not only was Journey the DJ for Justin Gimelstob’s party, but he was also the DJ for the International Emmy Awards after party…
That’s me with my friend, Celebrity Hairstylist & Music Expert Terry Mathis. As you can see, we all partied & shook our booties to Journey’s music. I hear that Simon Cowell won an International Emmy Award earlier that night. Too bad he didn’t come to the after party…It was a blast! More pictures from the party…
My good friend, super Attorney Keven Davis, turned me on to this spot in Harlem called Melba’s. Kev’s invited me to hang out with him & friends at Melba’s a couple times & each time, it was super fun! We hung out there last time on a Tuesday night for their open mic hosted by singer Peta Wane & musician Fred McFarlane. We ate yummy soul food from Melba’s Restaurant kitchen, had fabulous cocktails & all sang along with Peta Wane as he performed…
Me & Keven!
Me with Actor & Singer Leon. I was hoping he’d get up & sing. He didn’t, but I’ll try to catch a performance by his band Leon & The Peoples in the new year. Meantime, be sure to check Leon out in the latest episode of “Diary of a Single Mom.”
“The View’s” Sherri Shepherd also stopped by Melba’s…
More pictures from Melba’s…
Me with Jamir Couch & Melba herself!
Me with Anna Triggs, Keven Davis & Maria Anguah Boafo.
Flo Rida came to TriBeca to perform at Z100′s PC Richard & Son Theater. It was a really fun show & I went backstage to say hello to him afterwards. And I swear ladies, I didn’t time it perfectly so I’d happen to be in his dressing room while his shirt was off! Lol, I guess it was just luck
Z100′s annual Jingle Ball concert happened at the world famous Madison Square Garden December 10th. Here are some of my pics from backstage at the show…
And that’s me with ABC’s Andrea Dresdale…More fun times! Z100′s Jingle Ball is always the highlight of my work year! Before the show & earlier in the week, I paid a visit to my good friends at New York City’s PIX 11 Morning Show to give away some Z100 Jingle Ball tickets!
That’s me with the very beautiful Morning News Anchor Sukanya Krishnan!
And that’s me with lovely PIX 11 Producer Ojinika Obiekwe!
Immediately after my PIX 11 appearance, I dutifully headed to the gym to workout with my Trainer David Munoz at The New York Health & Racquet Club!
If you’re looking for a workout facility in the NYC area, I highly recommend New York Health & Racquet Club. I worked out there for all of 2010 & it will continue to be my gym home in 2011! They’ve got great facilities, wonderful trainers, lots of diverse fitness classes & top of the line equipment. My body already had major improvements from working out at New York Health & Racquet Club in 2010. I’ve gotten my waistline back, my butt is firm & my curves are enhanced! By the summertime of 2011, I expect to be turning even more heads!
One of my major successes of 2010 was becoming a Correspondent on CNN’s “Showbiz Tonight”! Television is my next career goal, so appearing on “Showbiz Tonight” regularly in 2010 gave me tons of time in front of the camera on national television & is great for my resume! Big shout out to everyone on the show, including Hosts AJ Hammer & Brooke Anderson. I took a picture with AJ during my last appearance & got a shot of his framed pic in the CNN halls…
If you didn’t get a chance to watch me on “Showbiz Tonight” in 2010, be sure to watch out for me on the show in 2011! Meantime, here’s a clip from one of my 2010 appearances…
Big shout out to my friend & radio colleague Paul Cubby Bryant! Cubby, who’s the host of KTU Mornings with Cubby here in NYC, is a basketball fan like I am. Cubby’s got season tickets for the New Jersey Nets & he was kind enough to invite me to join him at the Nets/Wizards game in December.
Cubby has courtside seats, so I was right up front with him for all the action…
That last guy, Kris Humphries, is the Nets player who’s dating Kim Kardashian. Btw, the Nets won the game that night…because I was there, of course
I had 2 weeks off at the end of 2010. I got a lot of rest, hung out with friends and just enjoyed myself all the way around.
Went to Ed Lover’s monthly comedy show that he has at Carolines on Broadway. I got a lot of much needed laughs there!
Aside from Christmas & New Year’s Eve, my birthday also fell within my vacation.
The lovely Joy Bauer treated me to lunch on my birthday! She’s just delightful & so nice to talk to. I’ve already lost 17 pounds on the WD Slimdown with Joy Bauer, so I’m super excited to see how much more weight I lose on the Slimdown in the New Year! If your goal is to lose weight for the New Year or even just to eat healthier, please follow me & the rest of the Slimdowners Woman’s Day Magazine’s website because we’ll keep sharing with you our successes & experiences. It’ll be good motivation. Let’s do it together! I was really happy to have lunch with Joy for another reason…I was really interested in seeing how she ordered healthy foods & made healthy substitutes in a restaurant setting. It sometimes feels so hard to stick to a healthy eating plan when you’re out at a restaurant with friends, so I really benefited from seeing how Joy orders. For herself, she ordered the Caesar salad with the dressing on the side. It was a huge salad, so Joy took part of it home with her. For me, she suggested the vegetarian chili as an appetizer & an egg white omelette loaded with vegetables & a little cheese…
I’m telling you, that chili was so freaking AMAZING! I’ve been giving some serious thought lately to trying out the vegetarian lifestyle for the New Year, but know it may be difficult because I’ve been a meat eater my entire life. However, if all my food can be as delicious, yummy & flavorful as that chili & omelette were, I think I could be successful at the vegetarian lifestyle. We’ll see.
Joy was also sweet enough to have the waiter surprise me with a healthy dessert with a birthday candle! She also gave me the gift of the game TableTopics, which has a lot of great conversation starters while you’re having meals with friends. That’s a perfect gift for me since one of my favorite things is having stimulating conversation with friends over dinner! I had a really nice time with her. Thank you so much Joy!
And later on that night on my birthday, I once again joined my friend DJ Journey for a party at the W Hotel Hoboken…
My friends Jonathan Gallagher & Justin Michael also stopped by the party to celebrate with me! Afterwards, we headed over to a nearby bar where Journey treated me to some birthday cocktails.
And what a fabulous way to wrap up my birthday celebration…gazing up into the night sky to watch the Lunar Eclipse!
Thanks to all my family, friends & loved ones for making such great memories with me in 2010. Let’s do more of it in 2011. Here’s wishing us all a very blessed, rewarding, productive, dreams-come-true 2011 filled with lots of light, peace & love. Happy New Year!
On Wednesday, November 24th, I visited my friends at the PIX 11 Morning Show to give away tickets to Z100′s Jingle Ball 2010! Check out the vid below with me & PIX 11 Morning Show Host Sukanya Krishnan!